Central Carolina Student Ashley Ardis Named 2024 DREAM Scholar

SUMTER, SC (03/26/2024) Central Carolina Technical College student Ashley Ardis is one of eight community college students nationwide who was chosen as a 2024 DREAM Scholar by the Achieving the Dream (ATD) Network of community colleges. 

Ardis, an accounting student, is the first Central Carolina student to be selected as an ATD DREAM Scholar. 

ATD, a national organization committed to increasing the success of community college students, developed the DREAM Scholars program to foster leadership growth and critical thinking. Up to eight DREAM scholars are chosen annually from ATD institutions through a competitive application process. Scholars will receive a scholarship, tailored leadership development and networking opportunities. 

Despite facing setbacks throughout her educational journey, Ardis sees herself as a survivor rather than a victim. A first-generation college student, she initially studied nursing but paused her education to support her sister. She is now studying accounting, determined to complete her degree and help others in her community realize they can achieve their goals. “You can choose to let your past and hardships define you or you can choose to be the hero of your own story,” says Ardis.

Ashley’s positive outlook on life and strong determination push her to help women, particularly single mothers, see their potential and strength. Ashley is the definition of resilience; she now works more than 60 hours a week while attending school full-time to support herself and her daughter.

“We are very proud that Ashley was selected as a DREAM Scholar. While her lived experience is unique to her, Ashley’s perseverance and resiliency is representative of many students from our four-county service area,” says CCTC ATD Chair and Executive Director of Student Development Renee Patchin. “She is a very ambitious woman driven to leave a positive imprint on those she encounters during her journey.” 

Ardis recently traveled to Orlando, Florida for the ATD DREAM 2024 convening, where she and her fellow DREAM Scholars shared their inspirational stories with hundreds of community activists, education leaders, peers and DREAM Scholar alumni. 

“I am so proud that Ashley was one of only eight students from around the world selected through a rigorous, highly selective process to be a DREAM Scholar,” says Dr. Kevin Pollock, CCTC president. “She is the first DREAM Scholar from Central Carolina, and her selection is a testament to her story of resilience, redemption and triumph. She is truly exceptional and makes the entire campus community proud.”

To learn more about the 2024 ATD DREAM Scholars, visit https://achievingthedream.org/meet-the-2024-dream-scholars/